The daughter of 'Displaced Persons' is not able to take anything for granted, least of all that of being naturalised, even if the documents are there to prove it. Embarking yet again on both emigration and immigration there is one certainty, that one neither leaves nor arrives. Undoubtedly Australia will always be the place that has implicated me in particular formations, embedded shards of identity in certain ways. Some of those fragments are offered here and shaped into a kind of coherence. The work on which this book is based has taken place over fourteen years. It breaks new ground in so far as it has drawn attention to a neglected area of Australian writing. Since the shape of this book existed a decade ago, before there were debates conducive to its publication, the next-best alternative was to publish various sections over the years in order to help generate an appropriate critical climate. The material here is reshaped by current discussions and contemporary theoretical emphases and frameworks. Questions of marginalities, cultural difference, minority writings, ethnicity and race comprise the urgent debates of the final decade of the millennium.
It is in the nature of such new enterprises to involve many people and much networking. My gratitude extends to many:
to my colleagues at Deakin over fourteen years, especially to Ian Reid, Brian Edwards, Wenche Ommundsen, Hazel Rowley in Literature, and in the former School of Humanities to Louise Johnson, Li Veit-Brause, Gerry Kunstler, Ron Gilbert, Philipa Rothfield, Purusottama Bilimoria and, in the wider Deakin, Fazal Rizvi, Pam Maclean, Gill Gartlan.
For their help and enthusiasm in establishing the Multicultural Literature Collection my thanks to Margaret Cameron, Helen Livingston and Cate Richmond and to Hass Dellal and the Australian Bicentennial Multicultural Foundation for making this dream possible.
My gratitude to Peter Lane and the crew in Media for their patience with my attempts to move into video. Much conceptual territory was clarified in the process.
My respect for and thanks to colleagues in the wider networks who are doggedly trying to keep the debates going: Con Castan, Kateryna Longley, Ivor Indyk, Jim Kable, Chitra Fernando, Helen Nickas, Gaetano Rando, Walter Veit, Yasmine Gooneratne, Manfred Jurgensen, Adolfo Gentile, Mimis Sophocleus, Andrew Jakubowitz, Mary Kalantzis.
To the new generation my best wishes: Efi Hatzimanolis, Nikos Papastergiadis, Dina Dounis, Suvendrini Perera, Joseph Pugliese, Shirley Tucker, Mirjana Lozanovska.
My particular gratitude to those friends who convinced me to persevere and kept the issues alive through their own passionate engagement and commitment: Antigone Kefala, Jan Mahyuddin, Anna Couani, Peter and Tes Lyssiotis, Loló Houbein, Paul Carter, Liz Gertsakis, Jolanta and Jurgis Janavicius, Alexandra Büchler.
Colleagues who gave their encouragement and support from other institutional embeddings: Susan Sheridan, Liz Grosz, Anna Gibbs, Anna Yeatman, Ken Ruthven, David Carter, John Frow, Meaghan Morris, Homi Bhabha, Michele Grossman, and Mary Dimech of the Australia Council. Particular thanks to Carole Ferrier and Bronwyn Levy who aired many early attempts in Hecate. Thanks to Judith Brett for early encouragement to publish in Meanjin and to Jenny Lee for facilitating later cogitations in that journal.
My eternal gratitude to the stalwart efforts of those who typed my many papers and chapters over the years: Judy Barber, Judy Waldie, Val Lestrange. And particular thanks to Alex Thomas and Marian Boreland for their cheerful and willing help above and beyond the usual duties of research assistants.
My special gratitude for their support in all the other intangible and essential ways to my family and to Terence Greer.
Other versions of some of the chapters have appeared in the following:
Ch. 3 in S. Sheridan (ed.), Grafts: Feminist Cultural Criticism, London: Verso, 1989.
Ch. 4 in B. Marshall and D. Brooks (eds), Poetry and Gender, Sydney: Hale & Iremonger, 1988.
Ch. 5 in Meanjin, 44, 1, 1985.
Ch. 6 in P. Foss (ed.) Island in the Stream, Sydney: Pluto Press, 1988.
Particular thanks to the following in helping with revisions of this Chapter 6: Paul Foss, Anna Couani, John Hutnyk, Geraldine Kunstler and Nikos Papastergiadis.